Macron under threat as main rival Le Pen announces 2022 election bid – Victory ‘plausible’

Macron is a ‘little king in his castle’ says protester

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The French president’s chances for re-election took a severe hit because of his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent vaccine rollout scheme. President Macron’s main rival – the right wing politician, Marine Le Pen of the Rassemblement National party – announced her election bid on Friday and said she thought victory was “plausible”.

“I am once again standing as a presidential candidate, before you,” said Ms Le Pen, 52.

During the last election in 2017, Le Pen suffered a landslide defeat to Emmanuel Macron, losing out by 33 per cent to 66 per cent.

Current opinion polls predict Ms Le Pen and Mr Macron will make it to the final round of elections by this time next year, with forecasts showing Macron as the eventual winner.

Outlining her plans upon winning the presidency, Ms Le Pen vowed to hold a national referendum on immigration.

Speaking on France Inter, Ms Le Pen said her “first decision would be the organisation of a referendum on immigration.

“It has been decades since the various governments made decisions on immigration with the French people ever being listened to or questioned on the subject.”

She added her second priority would be negotiating border control with the European Commission.

She said: “I would go to the European Commission to explain to them what I consider to be non-negotiable in the area of national sovereignty and in particular the control of our borders, because I consider border control a matter of national sovereignty.”

She also made reference to her plans to reform the French tax system as she claims the country’s middle class is under “unsustainable pressure”.

Back in February, French Finance Minister Bruni Le Marie warned that a Le Pen victory was a “possibility” that must be “fought”.

Sylvain Crepon, a political scientist from the University of Tours, said: “The fact Macron’s government is perceived as fairly incompetent in handling the coronavirus crisis could work in Le Pen and the National Rally’s favour.

“People could say they couldn’t do any worse than what’s already been done.”

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Ms Le Pen took over the Rassemblement National party from her father in 2011, and has been a rising figure in French politics ever since.

During her 2017 campaign, she promised a referendum on European Union membership and talked of plans to ditch the Euro and embrace a new currency.

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